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Who Owns the Past? The Politics of Time in a 'model' Bulgarian Village by Deema Kaneff

Who Owns the Past? The Politics of Time in a 'model' Bulgarian Village

Part of the New Directions in Anthropology Series

RRP £21.00


Who Owns the Past? The Politics of Time in a 'model' Bulgarian Village by Deema Kaneff

In the decades since the collapse of socialism in eastern Europe, time has been a central resource under negotiation. Focusing on a local community that was considered a model in the socialist period, the author explores a variety of state-sponsored and unofficial pasts - history, folklore, and tradition - and shows how they fit together in everyday life. During the socialist period, the past was a central dimension of local politics and village identity. Post-socialist development has demanded a revaluation of temporality - as well as public and private space. This has led to fundamental changes in social life and political relations, reduced local resources, threatened village identity and transformed political activity through the emergence of new political elites. While the full implications of this process are still being played out, this study underlines some of the fundamental processes prevalent across eastern Europe that help explain widespread ambiguity vis-B-vis post-socialist reform.


...a welcome addition to the literature on the relationship between politics and history in the rural areas of socialist Bulgaria...The book masterfully explains how the official socialist version of local history was created and disseminated through life history narratives, ceremonies, awards and textbooks...The book is very readable and could be successfully used in undergraduate classes. - JRAI

About the Author

Deema Kaneff is senior researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Germany.

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Book Info

Publication date

30th October 2006


Deema Kaneff

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Berghahn Books




European history



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